The Water Mill

 

 

sarah_doudney_signed
Sarah Doudney

Oh! listen to the water mill, through all the livelong day,
As the clicking of the wheels wears hour by hour away;
How languidly the autumn wind does stir the withered leaves
As in the fields the reapers sing, while binding up their sheaves!
A solemn proverb strikes my mind, and as a spell is cast,
“The mill will never grind again with water that is past.”

 

The summer winds revive no more leaves strewn o’er earth and main,
The sickle nevermore will reap the yellow garnered grain;
The rippling stream flows on—aye, tranquil, deep and still,
But never glideth back again to busy water mill;
The solemn proverb speaks to all with meaning deep and vast,
“The mill will never grind again with water that is past.”

Ah! clasp the proverb to thy soul, dear loving heart and true,
For golden years are fleeting by and youth is passing too;
Ah! learn to make the most of life, nor lose one happy day,
For time will ne’er return sweet joys neglected, thrown away;
Nor leave one tender word unsaid, thy kindness sow broadcast—
“The mill will never grind again with water that is past.”

Oh! the wasted hours of life, that have swiftly drifted by,
Alas! the good we might have done, all gone without a sigh;
Love that we might once have saved by a single kindly word,
Thoughts conceived, but ne’er expressed, perishing unpenned, unheard.
Oh! take the lesson to thy soul, forever clasp it fast—
“The mill will never grind again with water that is past.”

Work on while yet the sun doth shine, thou man of strength and will,
The streamlet ne’er doth useless glide by clicking water mill;
Nor wait until to-morrow’s light beams brightly on thy way,
For all that thou canst call thine own lies in the phrase “to-day.”
Possession, power and blooming health must all be lost at last—
“The mill will never grind again with water that is past.”

Oh! love thy God and fellowman, thyself consider last,
For come it will when thou must scan dark errors of the past;
Soon will this fight of life be o’er and earth recede from view,
And heaven in all its glory shine, where all is pure and true.
Ah! then thou’lt see more clearly still the proverb deep and vast,
“The mill will never grind again with water that is past.”

Sarah Doudney, 1841-1926

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